The International Canoe Federation has allocated quota spots for Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has confirmed Mexico will make its first-ever Olympic appearance in canoe slalom at this year's Tokyo 2020 Games.

Mexico has secured its place after the ICF allocated quota spots for the Games following the cancellation of qualification events because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Athletes from Argentina, Canada, the United States and Cook Islands are set to join Mexico at Tokyo 2020 after being awarded Olympic canoe slalom quotas.

It has also been confirmed that Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Cuba, Austria, China, Japan, Bulgaria, Hungary, Samoa and Sweden have clinched Olympic spots in canoe sprint.

The ICF said allocations for canoe sprint were based on the 2019 World Championship results, while quotas were re-allocated when "insufficient athletes were available from the Americas."

Canoe slalom quotas were based on international rankings, according to the ICF.

The Pan-American Olympic canoe slalom and sprint qualifiers were scheduled to be held in Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba respectively only to be cancelled due to rising COVID-19 figures in Brazil.

A series of canoeing events have been disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic ©Getty Images
A series of canoeing events have been disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic ©Getty Images

The ICF said the two cancellations along with the suspension of canoe slalom rankings and a clarification of the canoe sprint qualification system presented "new challenges" to the process.

"We share the disappointment of many athletes and countries that we have been unable to hold Olympic qualifying events in some regions because of COVID-19 health concerns," said ICF secretary general Simon Toulson.

"Fortunately we had a robust contingency plan in place, which we have now had to call upon in consultation with the IOC.

"We would all prefer to have athletes battling against each other on the water to earn places at the Tokyo Games, but unfortunately this has not been possible.

"But we are confident the outcome will remain the same - a group of very determined athletes from all over the world, fighting it out on the biggest sporting stage in the world for Olympic glory."

The ICF said 31 nations have now qualified for the slalom competition, making it the highest number since Barcelona 1992 and qualifiers from Asia and Europe have yet to be decided.

Events to determine the final quota allocations in canoe sprint, paracanoe and canoe slalom are scheduled to be held this month.

The Asian Canoe Slalom Championships started today and is set to run until May 3 in Pattaya in Thailand.

Pattaya is then due to stage the Asian Canoe Sprint Championships from May 5 to 7.